The Scarborough News

Pension Credit: could you be entitled?

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Deborah Alsina MBE, Chief Executive, Independen­t Age

THE last year has been tough for a lot of people, particular­ly those who are living in poverty. All too often at Independen­t Age, we hear from people in later life who have to choose between eating and heating their homes.

That’s why we were pleased to see the annual increase of Pension Credit – a single person who is eligible for the entitlemen­t will now receive up to £177.10 per week, and couples who are eligible will now receive up to £270.30.

We know this money is a lifeline to hundreds of thousands of people, but we estimate that up to one million older people who could be eligible for Pension Credit are not receiving it.

It acts as a gateway to a free TV licence for over 75s, free NHS prescripti­ons, council tax support, Housing Benefit, free eye tests and much more. Combined, this could be worth around £7,000 per year for an individual.

As well as making a huge difference to people’s lives, full uptake could also bring savings to the taxpayer. Research we recently commission­ed suggests that full take-up could, over time, result in net savings as people’s health improves and they are less likely to need health or social care services.

By working together with the government to identify and overcome any barriers, we are confident we can increase uptake and, ultimately, improve the lives of people across Yorkshire in later life who are facing unnecessar­y financial struggles.

Mr Hollinrake’s government has seen fit to freeze the local housing allowance upon which many of the poorest depend

R HENLEY

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